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How to Pick the Right Vendor Management System (VMS) for Your healthcare system

How to pick the right vendor management system (vms) for your healthcare organization.

During a work year, organizations lose 6,500 hours dealing with manual processes related to managing staffing suppliers.

Dealing with vendors is necessary but time-consuming. Therefore, many organizations rely on Vendor Management Systems (VMS) to help them efficiently deal with staffing vendors. Vendor management also enables an organization to create and execute contingent workforce strategies to lower costs and improve quality.

To help with such a complicated process, vendor management software (VMS) is an online digital tool that acts as the central point for handling all vendor-related activities. But not all VMS solutions are created equal. Here are some critical features of a high-quality VMS solution you should look for to ensure you select only the best.


1. VMS Promotes Collaboration

A thorough supplier management process is one where various departments in the organization work together to manage and monitor vendors and contractors efficiently. That is very different from a redundant and manual supplier management process, which has various departments replicating each other’s work.

For your health system to become efficient, every department dealing with vendors needs to share information in real-time. Doing so will empower each team to build from a pool of knowledge instead of starting from scratch when managing the suppliers.

A good vendor management system will send notifications to departments that need to perform tasks at the right time during the workflow process. For example, an HR department may need to verify certain documents before a contractor can start an assignment. Simultaneously, employee health may need to review immunization or other health requirements. While each department may have a separate task, both are notified when it's time for their involvement and both can complete their part in real-time in the VMS.

The overlapping of responsibilities in a manual process can create friction that slows down collaboration. Thus, you must look for VMS that will promote the sharing of information among different teams. When separate departments have ready access to information that is transparent, it saves time, which can increase the overall output.


2. VMS Enables You to Monitor Vendor Performance Effectively

Your vendors, just like your hospital or healthcare system, operate in an ever-changing environment. In light of this, you can't be lax about keeping a close eye on your suppliers' performance.

Most hospitals and healthcare systems have multiple vendors that supply staff to their facilities. A good VMS will track various vendor performance metrics and provide scorecards that rank vendors based upon those key performance indicators (KPI).

Performance metrics can range from time to respond with candidates, the number of candidates submitted to requests, and the percentage of placed candidates that complete their assignment. Other metrics related to staff quality can be generated based upon electronic evaluations that are completed in the VMS by hiring managers. 

A quality VMS should include the tools that help you carry out prompt analysis of a vendor's performance. That way, you can continually have fresh insight into your vendors that directly influence the decisions you make.


3. VMS Simplifies Execution and Decision Making

The ultimate objective of choosing any VMS is to streamline and simplify how you manage your suppliers.

The only way any VMS solution can achieve this is by tailoring itself to the organization's unique workflow and needs. In addition, a good VMS will tee up decisions that need to be made along the way with information that helps with making those decisions.

Therefore, whenever you are shopping for a VMS solution, you ought only to consider those that can be configured to fit your operations. If the software calls for you to abandon the pre-existing procedures you have for managing your suppliers, then chances of adoption are low and additional complexity is high. 

In addition to how well a VMS solution fits your processes, you should also look for after-sales support. Every VMS you adopt will have a learning curve, no matter how straightforward it is.

Find out from the sales team if you will have a support team assigned to your account after you sign the contract and what level of support you can expect to receive. Do not settle for remote support only. Look for a VMS solution that will include in-person implementation, quarterly business reviews, and one on one support for you and the rest of your team down the line.


4. VMS Covers the Entire Process

Managing your suppliers doesn't end with confirming an assignment. All steps in the process should be automated from "req to check" in a good VMS. From credentialing through to timekeeping and invoicing the workflow should be seamless and efficient.

In addition to covering the entire process, each step along the way should keep key stakeholders notified via email or text notifications. If credentials are approaching expiration, the VMS should be sending out warnings to all those that need to know.

A good VMS will be auditing your contingent worker information every step of the way. This makes audits and other manual interventions obsolete.


5. VMS Inspects Essential Information at Every Juncture

Every organization needs a central place where it keeps all its vendor and staff information. Sounds simple, right? It is astonishing how many organizations miss doing this, especially as they scale up.

Shop for a VMS option that can help you centralize all supplier information in one place. As a result, you won't panic when audits are announced and the scramble for information ensues. 

Additionally, a great VMS solution should be able to hold all parties to the terms and conditions you have signed with your suppliers. Whether it's conversion terms, late cancel penalties, or other T's & C's the VMS should be the arbiter of your contract terms letting the data drive decisions and process outcomes or penalties that have been agreed to contractually.


Take Your Vendor Management to the Next Level

Many organizations lose precious productivity time during the work year while dealing with vendor-related matters. To make supplier management efficient, organizations rely on a vendor management system. VMS is an online tool that helps centralize and streamline dealings with suppliers. Learn how to identify the essential features of a top-notch VMS solution to get the best value for your money.

Healthcare Workforce Logistics is an experienced vendor management system provider that understands your need for efficiency. Contact us today for supplier management solutions that will lower your costs and reduce your administrative burden.

December 10, 2019/By Jeff Niles
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Author: Jeff Niles

Jeff is Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Healthcare Workforce Logistics and has been in healthcare contingent workforce management for over 15 years. Jeff has led sales, implementation, and client services to some of the largest and most influential healthcare providers with technology and solutions installed in over 3,000 hospitals in 50 states and the UK. Jeff is inspired to work with transformational leaders that have a vision to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, transparency, compliance, quality and cost savings. Contact Jeff at jniles@hwlmsp.com OR 630-913-6629
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